A View on Suicide
After reading through a recent article by one of my professors, Dr. Jack Cottrell, I decided to write about the following subject. Several years ago, I received a phone call from a young man strongly considering suicide. I raced to the park where he was and, with our Lord’s help, talked him out of that option. Too many times, even once is too many, I am contacted after the fact. Suicide leaves so many questions for family and friends, even if a note was left. Many Christians have very strong opinions and views about suicide. I am sure the view that I share will meet with strong disagreement. I believe that for the Christian, who out of great desperation chooses the option of suicide, there is forgiveness. Many Christians believe that suicide is an unforgiveable sin because of I John 1:9. This text states, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (NASB). The reason many Christians believe that suicide is unforgiveable is because the person who commits suicide does not have time to ask God to forgive them for their sin. Suicide is a sin; it is a selfish act; it is self-murder. However, I John 1:9 does not mean that we have to be able to ask God for the forgiveness of our sins before we die. I John 1:9 refers to our relationship with Jesus Christ. Notice ~ I John 1:7 says, “But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin” (NASB). This verse helps us with the context of the passage, those who are in a relationship with Jesus Christ experience the forgiveness of sins because of the blood of Jesus Christ. So, for the Christian who has a relationship with Jesus Christ, there is forgiveness of sin. Committing the sin of suicide before dying and committing any other sin before dying without asking God for forgiveness is no different. Sometimes, Christians are in an argument before they die, or they may be in a car wreck that was their fault for reckless driving. Committing a sin does not separate us from the grace of God. Persistence in sin is apostasy, and that will separate us from God’s grace. But, an individual act of sin does not separate us from God’s grace. To say that we have to ask God for forgiveness for every single sin before we die is being legalistic. People who consider suicide need help, but not the threat of condemnation. If a Christian has committed suicide out of desperation, we sorrow, but not as those without Jesus.